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City map Moscow

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    Moscow - a brief overwiew

    Moscow

    The capital of Russia has seen some tumultuous times in its 1,000-year history: the rise and fall of tsars, usurpers and sieges, empires and revolution. All this history has left an indelible mark on the city by the Moskva River. In the centre, the onion domes of Orthodox churches jostle for space with Russian baroque department stores and austere Soviet towers.

    But Moscow is no musty museum piece – behind the history is a fast-paced modern metropolis, with shopping, nightlife and dining to rival any European capital. Start the day at the Kremlin and finish the night with champagne and caviar and tickets to the Bolshoi Ballet. Mixing leisure with culture is the Russian way.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Top 10 sights in Moscow

    ListMap

    The Kremlin

    Krasnaya ploshchad
    109012 Moscow
    Russia
    Tel: (495) 695 3776
    Show on map

    Opening times: Fri-Wed 1000-1700

    Moscow’s most famous sight is almost a city within a city. Behind the towering walls of the Kremlin are elegant cathedrals, stately palaces and museums dripping with unimaginable riches, as well as the offices of the Russian government.

    Red Square

    Red Square, (Krasnaya Ploshad)
    103012 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    The vast size of Red Square only becomes apparent when you step out onto the cobbles. Even towering St Basil’s Cathedral looks like a paperweight in this expansive setting. Come in May for bombastic military parades, or just join the promenading crowds.

    St Basil’s Cathedral

    4 Krasnaya Ploshchad
    103012 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Opening times: Daily 1100-1900 (summer); 1100-1700 (winter)

    Looking more like a wedding cake built by an eccentric sweet-maker, Russia’s most famous place of worship has pride of place in Red Square. The exterior is topped by fantasy towers and candy-colour domes, while the interior is adorned with lavish frescoes.

    Novodevichy Convent & Cemetery

    Novodevichy proezd 1
    119435 Moscow
    Russia
    Tel: (499) 246 8526
    Show on map

    Opening times: Wed-Mon 0900-1700

    The cemetery attached to this UNESCO-listed convent is the final resting place of some of Russia’s most famous citizens, including Anton Chekhov, Nikita Khrushchev and Boris Yeltsin. As well as famous graves, don’t miss the ornate frescoes inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Smolensk.

    Pushkin Fine Arts Museum

    Volkhonka ulitsa 12
    119019 Moscow
    Russia
    Tel: (495) 697 9578
    Show on map

    Opening times: Tue-Wed and Fri-Sun 1000-1900, Thurs 1000-2100

    Showing great art in a grand setting, the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum has Russia’s premier collection of European art. Amongst the collection are works by Monet, Rembrandt, Michelangelo and Van Gogh.

    Bolshoi Theatre

    Teatralnaya ploshchad 1
    125009 Moscow
    Russia
    Tel: (495) 455 5555
    Show on map

    Opening times: Tours on Mon, Wed and Fri at 1210

    Even if you fail to secure tickets for a live show, touring the Bolshoi Theatre, the official home of the legendary Bolshoi Ballet Company, is almost mandatory when visiting Moscow. Take a behind-the-scenes tour and see the stage where Swan Lake premiered in 1877.

    Tretyakov State Gallery

    Lavrushinsky pereulok 10
    119017 Moscow
    Russia
    Tel: (495) 953 1051
    Show on map

    Opening times: Tue-Wed and Sat-Sun 1000-1800, Thurs-Fri 1000-2100

    Pre-Revolutionary art is the focus at this famous gallery, which preserves the world’s finest collection of Russian Orthodox icons. Also on display is work from the groundbreaking Peredvizhniki movement, pioneers of Russian realism.

    Gorky Park

    Krymsky Val ulitsa 9
    119049 Moscow
    Russia
    Tel: (495) 995 0200
    Show on map

    Less menacing than the spy novels would have you believe, this sprawling park is a favourite summer hangout for Muscovites, with cafés, bars, shady walkways, gaudy fairground rides and calming river views.

    Sanduny Baths

    Neglinnaya ulitsa 3-7 14
    107031 Moscow
    Russia
    Tel: (495) 625 4631
    Show on map

    Opening times: Daily 0800-2200

    The grandest place in Moscow to take a bath, this elegant banya (bathhouse) was constructed in 1808, and the steam baths still pull in daily crowds. Celebrities from Alexander Pushkin to Roman Abramovich have all come here to let off steam.

    Winzavod

    4-y Syromyatnichesky pereulok 1
    105120 Moscow
    Russia
    Tel: (495) 917 4646
    Show on map

    Opening times: Tue-Sun 1200-2000

    Moscow’s answer to the Meatpacking District, this dynamic modern art centre sprawls across seven vast industrial buildings. Inside the hanger-like halls are artists’ studios, galleries, cafés and bars, and some of Moscow’s most atmospheric exhibition spaces.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Russia is at once breathtaking, baffling and stunningly beautiful. Monumental in every respect, it’s a land where untamed wilderness sits alongside bustling urban centres, and adventure lurks around every corner. From imperial splendour to icy Siberian tundra and from time-worn Soviet-era monuments to über-hip urban culture, Russia is a land of contradiction and superlatives.

    For the first time in its history, Russia is now wide open for foreign visitors to experience, and exploration beyond Moscow and St Petersburg is well advised. The Golden Ring, a collection of ancient gems, transports the traveller back to a bygone age.

    Geography

    The Russian Federation covers almost twice the area of the USA, and reaches from the enclave of Kaliningrad in the west over the Urals and the vast Siberian plains to the Sea of Okhotsk in the east. The border between European Russia and Siberia (Asia) is formed by the Ural Mountains, the Ural River and the Manych Depression. All in all Russia has 16 international borders with countries including Finland, Lithuania, USA, Japan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and China.
    European Russia extends from the North Polar Sea across the Central Russian Uplands to the Black Sea, the Northern Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. Siberia stretches from the West Siberian Plain across the Central Siberian Plateau to the Lena River and takes in the Sayan and Yablonovy ranges in the south.

    East of Siberia stretches the Russian Far East, a region almost as big as Siberia itself, running to the Pacific coast and including the vast Chukotka and Kamchatka peninsulas.

    Given the vast size of the country, Russia’s terrain is hugely variable. From the Siberian tundra to the mountains of the Urals, the beaches on the Black Sea coast, and the plains of western Russia, such variable geography means one can experience many different Russias.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 142500482

    Population Density (per sq km): 8

    Capital: Moscow.

    Language

    Russian is the official language, although there are over 100 other languages. English is widely spoken by younger people as well as some educated older people.

    Currency

    Rouble (RUB; symbol руб) = 100 kopeks. Notes are in denominations of 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of 10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 10, 5 and 1 kopeks.

    Electricity

    220 volts AC, 50Hz. Russia uses a standard two-pin European plug.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 1000-1800, with a lengthy lunch break, usually from 1200-1400, during which no work is done – even telephones are left unanswered.

    Public Holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.

    2014

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2014
    Russian Orthodox Christmas Day: 07. January 2014
    Defender of the Fatherland Day: 23. February 2014
    International Women’s Day: 08. March 2014
    Spring and Labour Day: 01. May 2014
    Victory Day: 09. May 2014
    Russia Day: 12. June 2014
    Unity Day: 25. October 2014

    2015

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Russian Orthodox Christmas Day: 07. January 2015
    Defender of the Fatherland Day: 23. February 2015
    International Women’s Day: 08. March 2015
    Spring and Labour Day: 01. May 2015
    Victory Day: 09. May 2015
    Russia Day: 12. June 2015
    Unity Day: 04. November 2015

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Getting around

    Public Transport

    The most atmospheric way to explore the Russian capital is on the Moscow Metro (tel: (495) 688 0293; www.mosmetro.ru); fares are cheap, trains run to every corner of the city and the marble and chandelier-filled stations are works of art in themselves. Tickets are sold in stations; buy a multi-ride smart card to avoid the queues. Above ground, buses, trams and marshrutka (shared minibuses) zip between the suburbs and the centre, but routes can be confusing; buy tickets from the driver, from metro stations, or from ticket booths at bus stops.

    Taxis

    Taking a taxi in Moscow can be an expensive business, and that’s before you consider Moscow’s notorious traffic jams. It’s best to phone ahead for an official taxi, rather than taking your chances in Moscow’s vast fleet of unofficial taxis; reputable companies include Welcome Taxi (tel: (499) 553 0158) and New Yellow Taxi (tel: (495) 940 8888). Locals generally do not tip.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Nightlife in Moscow

    ListMap

    Going out in Moscow is complicated by ‘face control’ at the door; dress to impress if you want to gain entry to more exclusive Moscow nightspots. The nightclub

    scene is famously hedonistic, and also famously expensive. For a more relaxed night out, many cafés double as bars and even dance-halls.

    Soho Rooms

    Savvinskaya naberezhnaya 12с8
    119435 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    This glitzy club is achingly cool, and open to only the chosen few who make it past ‘face control’.

    Kryshna Mira

    Tarasa Shevchenko nabarezhnaya 2-3
    119331 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    The terrace at this exclusive club, hidden away in the former Badaevsky brewery, is the place to watch the sun come up.

    Bolshoi Theatre

    Teatralnaya ploshchad 1
    125009 Moscow
    Russia
    Tel: (495) 455 5555
    Show on map

    See the world’s most famous ballet company on its home stage, in the hall that hosted the very first performance of Swan Lake.

    Gogol

    Stoleshnikov pereulok 11
    107031 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Face-control free and famously good fun, Gogol is the bar of choice for younger Muscovites.

    Bilingua

    Krivokolenny pereulok 10
    101000 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Arty, edgy and atmospheric, Bilingua is the place to read a Russian novel, knock back a cold beer or launch a new art movement.

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    Restaurants in Moscow

    ListMap

    Fine dining in Moscow can come with an eye-watering price tag, but a meal of Beluga caviar and blinis (pancakes) is likely to be a memorable dining experience.

    In more affordable eateries, hearty Russian food is the mainstay, though growing numbers of restaurants are serving sushi and innovative haute Russe cuisine.

    Café Pushkin

    Tverskoy bulvar 26A
    103009 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Step into Moscow’s golden age at this elegant, historic restaurant, one of the pioneers of haute Russe cuisine.

    White Rabbit

    Smolenskaya ploshchad 3
    121099 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Swoon-inducing views accompany gourmet dining at this oh-so-glamorous modern-Russian restaurant.

    Delicatessen

    Sadovaya-Karetnaya ulitsa 20
    127051 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Hidden away, but worth hunting down, this café and bar combines superior European cooking and groundbreaking mixology.

    Ragout

    2-y Brestskaya ulitsa 46
    125047 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Leading the Moscow gastropub phenomenon, Ragout brings fine Russian dining to the masses.

    Ludi kak Ludi

    1/4 Solyanskiy tupik, Kitay Gorod
    109240 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Price: Budget

    Small, friendly and family-run, with a great selection of home-cooked Russian staples.

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    Calendar of events

    Moscow City Day (Den' Goroda)

    6 September 2014

    Venue: Various locations around Moscow.

    Held over the first weekend in September, Moscow celebrates the birth of the Russian capital with a series of parades and entertainment events. The celebrations begin on the Saturday with a procession of floats and city officials along Tverskaya Street and finishing at the Kremlin. Other celebratory events taking place over the weekend include fun fairs, street entertainers, sports contests and live music; and there are plenty of food and drink stalls lining the streets. The city parks are also popular places to celebrate the occasion with many families choosing to enjoy a picnic in one of the beautifully maintained parks. Moscow’s City Day was introduced by the former Russian president Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007) in 1986 when he was the Secretary of the Moscow City Committee.

    Kremlin Cup

    13 – 19 October 2014
    Website

    Venue: Olympic Stadium.

    Russia’s answer to Wimbledon captures the city’s attention for nine days in October.

    Fashion Week in Moscow

    22 – 26 October 2014
    Website

    Venue: Gostiny Dvor and other venues around Moscow.

    Obsessed by haute couture at the best of times, Moscow goes fashion crazy for this annual design extravaganza.

    Day of National Unity

    4 November 2014

    Venue: Throughout the city.

    Communists come out of the woodwork to parade and flag-wave to commemorate the October Revolution.

    Russian Winter Festival

    25 December 2014 – 5 January 2015
    Website

    Venue: Izmaylovsky Park, Pushkinsaya ploschad, Red Square and other venues.

    Muscovites get into the Russian winter spirit with all sorts of special events and rides in troikas (sleighs drawn by three horses). Ice sculpture competitions, and even ice chess, also take place in the city.

    Russian Orthodox Christmas

    7 January 2015

    Venue: Various locations around Moscow.

    Celebrated according to the Julian calendar, the Russian Orthodox Christmas falls on 7 January and is a huge celebration for Orthodox Christians across Russia. Events begin on the eve of the holiday with a special televised speech by the president. Many attend Christmas religious services which are held in churches throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Midnight Mass service on Christmas Eve in the restored Christ the Saviour Cathedral near the Kremlin is one of the main services.

    Maslenitsa (Blini Day)

    20 – 27 February 2015

    Venue: Various locations around Moscow.

    Maslenitsa is a blend of pagan beliefs and Christian traditions and is the Russian equivalent of Mardi Gras – the last period for feasting before the fasting of the traditional Lent season. Blini are a type of Russian pastry or doughnut which is frequently eaten smothered in jam, honey or other sweet foodstuffs. Maslenitsa lasts for up to one week ending on Shrove Tuesday or ‘Blini Day’. Many Muscovites visit the Blini Village in Red Square which is a great place to soak up the unique flavour of this popular cultural and religious celebration.

    Women's Day

    8 March 2015

    Venue: Throughout Russia.

    International Women’s Day (IWD) is an internationally recognised celebration of women and their social, economic and political achievements. In Russia, the demonstrations that marked International Women’s Day created a sea of change that kick-started the Russian Revolution of 1917. To commemorate the day’s historic importance it is now a public holidayin Russia. However, rather than staging political protests the day has a more sentimental slant, with husbands and sons showing their love for the ladies in their lives.

    Paskha (Easter)

    12 April 2015

    Venue: Churches across Moscow.

    The main holiday of the Russian Orthodox Church, when Russians end 40 days of fasting with midnight church services and a feast of special cakes.

    Victory Day

    9 May 2015

    Venue: Red Square.

    Each year on 9 May Russia celebrates Victory Day which commemorates the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The German army signed the surrender terms on 8 May 1945 with peace officially taking effect the following day on 9 May. But peace did not come without huge loss of life on both sides and the day is also a way of remembering the many people that lost their lives during the conflict. Known as VE Day in most of Europe, Victory Day is celebrated in a grand way in Moscow with lavish ceremonies and a military parade in Red Square. The ceremony is usually attended by several prominent world leaders and the occasion closes with a fireworks display.

    White Nights Festival

    28 May – 31 July 2015
    Website

    Venue: Throughout the city.

    This festival is a must for ballet, opera and classical music amateurs. It takes its inspiration from the short summer season when the sun never sets, and offers a world-class programme of concerts.

    Moscow International Film Festival

    1 – 30 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Cinemas across Moscow.

    Muscovites celebrate more than 100 years of Russian cinema with screenings of new and classic films at theatres all over Moscow.

    Russian Independence Day

    12 June 2015

    Venue: Red Square.

    Russia declared its sovereignty on 12 June 1990 as a way of distancing itself from the crumbling Soviet Union. The following year when the Soviet Union was formerly broken up, Boris Yeltsin came to power and declared 12 June Russian Independence Day and a national holiday. But it was not until over a decade later in 2003 under the presidency of Vladimir Putin that the day became a grand parade. Now each year on 12 June there is a big celebration and parade at Moscow’s Red Square.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Hotels in Moscow

    ListMap

    Bargains are sparse in über-expensive Moscow, but grand hotels are in steady supply. The most prestigious addresses are close to Red Square and the Kremlin, where caviar and champagne breakfasts are de rigueur.

    For cheaper accommodation, head to the suburbs and commute to the centre on the Moscow Metro.

    Ritz Carlton

    Tverskaya ulitsa 3
    125009 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Every imaginable luxury is on offer at this grand hotel, with lavish designer interiors and views across to the Kremlin from the rooftop terrace.

    Swissotel Krasnye Holmy

    Kosmodamianskaya naberezhnaya 52, Building 6
    115054 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Rooms are sumptuous and views are to die for at this gleaming Moscow tower, looming above the Moskva River.

    Metropol Moscow Historical Hotel

    Teatralny proezd 2
    109012 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    An art nouveau beauty on glamorous Teatralny Proezd, overflowing with old-world charm and period details.

    Kitay Gorod Hotel

    Lubyanskiy proezd 25
    101000 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    A rare inexpensive find in the centre, offering small but comfortable rooms within walking distance of the Kremlin.

    Izmailovo Beta

    Izmailovskoe Shosse 2B- 71 Block
    105187 Moscow
    Russia
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Simple, no-frills rooms and bargain prices are the main attraction at this tower hotel near the Ismailovo Market.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Friday, 31.10.2014 09:00

    cloudy

    temperature


    4°C


    39°F

    wind direction

    northwest

    wind speed

    4.375 mph

    humidity

    79%

    7 days forecast

    Saturday

    01.11.2014

    2°C / -1°C

    36°F / 30°F

    Sunday

    02.11.2014

    1°C / -2°C

    34°F / 28°F

    Monday

    03.11.2014

    5°C / -1°C

    41°F / 30°F

    Tuesday

    04.11.2014

    7°C / 2°C

    45°F / 36°F

    Wednesday

    05.11.2014

    6°C / 2°C

    43°F / 36°F

    Thursday

    06.11.2014

    2°C / -2°C

    36°F / 28°F

    Friday

    07.11.2014

    -5°C

    32°F / 23°F

    Climate and best time to visit Moscow

    It pays to consider the weather when planning a trip to Moscow. Winters are bitterly cold, and even a furry ushanka hat may not be enough to ward off the chill from November to February. In contrast, summers are warm and sultry, and many Muscovites escape to their dachas (summer houses) in the countryside. The ideal time to visit is spring or autumn, when the crowds are smaller and prices are lower. The cultural calendar, however, runs year round. Mid-winter sees ice sculptures in Red Square and sophisticated performances for the December Nights festival, while May is marked by dramatic parades for the Victory Day and May Day celebrations.

    Climate & best time to visit Russia

    As you’d expect Russia’s climate is hugely dependent on where in the country you find yourself. With temperatures known to hit a tarmac-melting 37°C (99°F) in the cities and fall to -30°C (-22°F) and lower during the Siberian winter, there’s no point generalising about Russia’s weather except to say, be prepared. The most favourable temperatures are found along the Baltic coast, where many Muscovites decamp for balmy summer holidays, whilst the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi, also doubles as a beach resort, due to its tropical climate, earning it the epithet ‘Florida of Russia’. Minus the overly tanned pensioners of course.

    While the notion of visiting a snow-blanketed Moscow or St Petersburg has a definite romance, most tourists prefer to come calling in the warm summer months of June, July and August. This means the “shoulder seasons” of April, May, September and October are good options for visitors keen to avoid the peak crowds – prices are generally lower from September to May, and tourist sites almost invariably less crowded. Spring is often characterised by slushy roads. And if your heart’s set on that winter wonderland? December’s the best bet. Seasonal climates apply elsewhere in Russia – Siberia can have devastatingly cold winters, while its summers are generally fairly pleasant, if a little rainy. The region of Russia near the Black Sea has mild winters, but again attracts a fair amount of rain.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    3 °C

    37.4 °F

    -33 °C

    -27.4 °F

    6 °C

    42.8 °F

    -31 °C

    -23.8 °F

    16 °C

    60.8 °F

    -27 °C

    -16.6 °F

    24 °C

    75.2 °F

    -25 °C

    -13 °F

    30 °C

    86 °F

    -4 °C

    24.8 °F

    35 °C

    95 °F

    1 °C

    33.8 °F

    35 °C

    95 °F

    5 °C

    41 °F

    31 °C

    87.8 °F

    2 °C

    35.6 °F

    28 °C

    82.4 °F

    -5 °C

    23 °F

    23 °C

    73.4 °F

    -15 °C

    5 °F

    11 °C

    51.8 °F

    -21 °C

    -5.8 °F

    6 °C

    42.8 °F

    -38 °C

    -36.4 °F

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    42 mm

    36 mm

    34 mm

    44 mm

    51 mm

    75 mm

    94 mm

    77 mm

    65 mm

    59 mm

    58 mm

    56 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    1 h

    2 h

    4 h

    5 h

    8 h

    9 h

    8 h

    7 h

    4 h

    2 h

    1 h

    0 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    85 %

    83 %

    78 %

    71 %

    64 %

    67 %

    72 %

    77 %

    81 %

    83 %

    86 %

    87 %

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan3 °C-33 °C-6 °C-12 °C85 %42 mm111.0 h
    Feb6 °C-31 °C-3 °C-11 °C83 %36 mm82.5 h
    Mar16 °C-27 °C2 °C-5 °C78 %34 mm84.1 h
    Apr24 °C-25 °C10 °C1 °C71 %44 mm95.7 h
    May30 °C-4 °C18 °C7 °C64 %51 mm88.5 h
    Jun35 °C1 °C22 °C11 °C67 %75 mm119.2 h
    Jul35 °C5 °C23 °C13 °C72 %94 mm128.8 h
    Aug31 °C2 °C22 °C11 °C77 %77 mm107.6 h
    Sep28 °C-5 °C15 °C7 °C81 %65 mm114.8 h
    Oct23 °C-15 °C8 °C2 °C83 %59 mm102.5 h
    Nov11 °C-21 °C1 °C-3 °C86 %58 mm121.1 h
    Dec6 °C-38 °C-3 °C-8 °C87 %56 mm120.6 h
    year35 °C-38 °C9 °C1 °C78 %691 mm1224.7 h

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +7

    Telephone

    When dialling the Russian Federation from abroad, the 0 of the area code must not be omitted. Most Moscow hotels have telephone booths with IDD. For long-distance calls within the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), dial 8 then wait for the dial tone before proceeding with the call. Collect calls, calls placed using credit cards and calls from direct dial telephones in hotels can be extremely expensive. International calls can be made from phones in the street and phonecards are available from many shops and kiosks in the street. For enquiries regarding Moscow private telephone numbers dial 09; for businesses, dial 927 0009.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. All major cities are covered by at least one operator. Handsets can be hired from some companies and local SIM cards are easily purchased for use within Russia if you have an unlocked handset.

    Internet

    Wi-Fi is available within most hotels in larger cities (although they may charge) and at internet cafes. Most connections will be either via dial up or broadband. Although Russia does not ostensibly censor the internet, there is an internet blacklist of sites which you will not be able to visit from inside Russia, which includes some independent news sites.

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    Shopping in Moscow

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Russians have a deserved reputation as shopaholics, and the city is awash with markets, department stores, boutiques and malls, including the iconic GUM shopping centre beside Red Square. In the centre, Tverskaya ulitsa is the most glamorous shopping strip, while the Arbat district is the place to pick up a souvenir matryoshka doll.

    Markets

    Few people do the weekly shop at GUM. Instead, Muscovites flock to the city’s rynok (markets) for everything from fashions and food to Chinese thermos flasks and Central Asian carpets. Close to Partizanskaya metro station, Izmailovo Market sells everything from Soviet-era trinkets and fur ushanka hats to electronics and fishing rods. For delicious Russian foodstuffs, head to the bustling Dorogomilovsky Market (Mozhaysky ulitsa val) or Danilovsky Market (Mytnaya ulitsa).

    Shopping Centres

    Oligarchs and opera stars shop for glitzy brands at the famous GUM shopping centre next to Red Square, known as the State Department Store in Soviet times. For champagne, cigars, perfume and diamonds, visit TSUM (formerly Central Universal Department Store) on Teatralnaya ploshchad, or mingle with the millionaires on shimmering Tretyakovsky Proezd. For less ostentatious purchases, modern malls abound – try Metropolis (Leningradskoe shosse), Atrium (Zemlyanoy Val ulitsa 33) or Europeisky (Kievskogo Vokzala 2 ploshchad).

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    It is customary to shake hands when greeting someone, though never across a threshold. Company or business gifts are well received; if you’re invited to someone’s home do bring a token gift, but avoid clearing your plate when eating; leaving some food is considered as a good sign.

    Conservative wear is suitable for most places – women will need to cover shoulders and wear long skirts to enter an orthodox church – and the seasonal weather should always be borne in mind. Smoking and drinking is acceptable unless stated otherwise.

    Russian society is still highly patriarchal and hierarchical; this may be reflected in chivalrous acts (men holding doors open for women for example) but it may also mean that women are taken less seriously, and engaging in ‘unfeminine’ behaviour may be interpreted wrongly, although being a visitor may get you some leeway.

    Be careful with gestures – in Russia, giving the ‘thumbs up’ sign is an insult not an ‘OK’.

    Photography

    It is prohibited to take photographs of any military installation and/or establishments or sites of strategic importance. Failure to abide by this could result in police arrest.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Health

    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    In general, Russia does not pose any serious health risks when it comes to food. Use common sense and caution when deciding what might be safe to eat. Tap water is drinkable, although those with sensitive stomachs may want to stick to bottled water. Similarly, some may want to make sure that water used for brushing teeth or making ice has been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Be mindful that eating salads may have vegetables washed in tap water; you may want to stick to well-cooked meals for the duration of your stay. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

    Other Risks

    Vaccinations are sometimes recommended for Japanese B encephalitis, meningococcal meningitis and tick-borne encephalitis.

    Flight and accommodation

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